Who is the Goddess Frigga?

Norse Woman
Norse women honored Frigga as a goddess of marriage. Anna Gorin/Moment/Getty Images

Frigga is the wife of the all-powerful Odin, and is considered a goddess of fertility and marriage within the Norse pantheon. Also called Frigg, she is associated with the gift of prophecy, and in some stories is portrayed as weaving the future of men and gods, although she did not have the power to change their destiny. She is credited in some of the Eddas with the development of runes, although in most stories Odin is given the credit.

Frigga is the only one besides Odin who is allowed to sit on his throne, Hlidskjalf, and she is known in some Norse tales as the Queen of Heaven. She is also the mother of Baldr, whose legend features prominently in the story of the mistletoe plant. She has a great deal in common with Freyja, the goddess of fertility and war. It's possible that these two goddesses developed from a common Germanic deity, although there's no way of knowing their origins at this point.

Dan McCoy at Norse Mythology for Smart People says, "Strangely for a goddess of her high position, the surviving primary sources on Norse mythology give only sparse and casual accounts of anything related to her personality, deeds, or other attributes. The specifics they do discuss, however, are not unique to Frigg, but are instead shared by both her and Freya, a goddess who belongs to both the Aesir and the Vanir tribes of deities.

From these similarities, combined with the two goddesses’ mutual evolution from the earlier Germanic goddess Frija, we can see that Frigg and Freya were only nominally distinct figures by the late Viking Age, when our sources were recorded, and that these two figures, who had formerly been the same deity, were still practically the same personage in everything but name."

In 2015, a group called Ásatrúarfélagið began working on a shrine near Reykjavík, honoring Frigga, Thor, and Odin. The Daily Beast's Nina Strochlik says, "This modern center of pagan worship, covering 3,800 square feet, dug 13 feet into a hillside and topped with a sunlight-filled dome, will cater to the 2,488 Icelandic members of Ásatrúarfélagið... The temple, when construction is completed next year, will be used for weddings and naming ceremonies and also to celebrate the ritual of Blot, which once involved sacrificing animals, but is more of an cause for performances and feasts for the Ásatrú followers of the modern variety."

Today, many modern Norse Pagans honor Frigga as a goddess of both marriage and prophecy. She is also viewed in some traditions as a peacemaker, and those who would meet under her banner are bound to behave honorably.

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Wigington, Patti. "Who is the Goddess Frigga?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 31, 2016, thoughtco.com/who-is-the-goddess-frigga-2562430. Wigington, Patti. (2016, August 31). Who is the Goddess Frigga? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-the-goddess-frigga-2562430 Wigington, Patti. "Who is the Goddess Frigga?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-the-goddess-frigga-2562430 (accessed November 19, 2017).